Ag-tech startup California Safe Soil (CSS) has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with KDC Ag for the nationwide development and commercialization of its patented food waste conversion and fertilizer technology.
Based on more than five years of development, CSS’s technology helps creates a more sustainable, closed-loop agricultural system by enabling 100 percent of supermarkets’ fresh food waste that can’t be donated, to be rapidly recycled and returned to the soil as a high-value organic fertilizer called Harvest-to-Harvest (H2H).
CSS celebrated a milestone last week with the official opening of its first full-scale, commercial recycling facility in Sacramento, Calif.
Kamine Development Corp. (KDC) founded KDC Ag in 2015 in anticipated support of this agreement.
“We believe this technological infrastructure can be rapidly deployed across every major city in the U.S., drastically reducing food waste and helping to transform the agriculture sector in a sustainable and profitable way,” said Justin Kamine, a board member of CSS. Justin, his father Hal, and his brother Matt, are all founding partners of KDC Ag.
In support of this effort, KDC Ag is joined by Alex Urquhart, former CEO of GE Energy Financial Services, and three newly appointed Board of Advisors.
Joining the board is Howard W. Buffett, an industry expert in regenerative agriculture, Chris Erickson, founder of Parsonage Lane Advisors and Oliver Libby, managing director of Hatzimemos/Libby.
“KDC Ag is tackling one of the critical areas for the future of humanity, combining effective food waste and food production solutions,” Libby said in a statment. “This approach represents both a tremendously exciting business opportunity and also a necessary social good; the Hatzimemos/Libby team is excited to engage in this important work with our partners at KDC Ag.”
Headquartered in Bedminster, N.J., KDC Ag plans to first focus its expansion efforts on markets in the East Coast, where it has already secured long term agreements with major supermarket chains for the recycling of nearly 60,000 tons of fresh food waste per year.
CSS’s patented technology uses heat, enzymes and mechanical action to create a nutrient-dense liquid fertilizer. This process is powered by a balanced diet of fruits, meats, fish, deli and bakery residuals. Once collected, this mixture is heated, ground and pumped with enzymes, breaking it down into its’ constituent elements with no added water. This liquid is then pasteurized, stabilized and blended to ensure farmers receive a consistent and pathogen free product every time.
The process is able to fully recycle 100 percent of the food waste it is fed in just three hours. According to CSS, by not letting the food rot, this process fully preserves foods’ nutrients; transforming discarded food scraps into a pathogen free liquid fertilizer immediately available to farmers.
To date, over 40 successful, independent field trials have been conducted with H2H at major commercial farms on over 20 different types of crops. Farmers are able to utilize H2H as both a sustainable solution during crop growth, and as a replacement for traditional composting methods. This dual effect allows H2H to improve soil health while reducing farmer’s nitrate use by 50 percent, decreasing farmers water consumption and increases crop yields by approximately 15 percent to 25 percent.
CSS currently has long-term contracts with over 200 supermarkets, which can keep over 32,000 tons of food waste from landfills per year, and provide enough sustainable organic fertilizer for over 100,000 acres of crops.